The Malta Independent 29 February 2020, Saturday

PN presents draft Bill on appointment and removal of Police Commissioners

Monday, 20 January 2020, 18:05 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Nationalist Party has presented a draft Bill which would see Police Commissioners appointed and removed by a two-thirds Parliamentary majority.

The motion, which seeks to make amendments in the Constitution, was presented in Parliament on Monday.

Lawrence Cutajar, the third Police Commissioner to be appointed by the Labour government since 2013, resigned last week. Cabinet is set to discuss a new way of appointing Police Commissioners on Tuesday morning.

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The PN motion says the Police Commisioner should be appointed by the Prime Minister in accordance with a Resolution of the House of Representatives supported by no less than two-thirds of MPs.

The Police Commissioner shall be responsible for the upholding and maintenance of the Rule of Law in Malta, without fear or favour, and shall be commissioned for leading and guiding the Police Force, as well as regulating the appointment, duties and discipline of the Force. The Commissioner shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person.

The Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except by the President upon an address by the House of Representatives supported by a two-thirds majority.

In a statement, the PN said it has been saying for many months that police chiefs should be appointed and removed by a two-thirds majority.

The proposal is being put forward because it has now become more evident that the government is abusing of the current system, the party said. The PN said three “incompetent” persons had been appointed to the role over the past six years. These persons, it added, had become puppets to the Prime Minister.

The PN appealed to PM Robert Abela to move from facts to action and ensure that its proposal is approved by Parliament as soon as possible.

The draft Bill was signed by Opposition Leader Adrian Delia, Deputy Leader David Agius and MPs Jason Azzopardi, Beppe Fenech Adami, Chris Said, Karol Aquilina and Robert Cutajar.

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